During the tractor rally on Republic Day, 45 buses were damaged in different incidents of violence and vandalism. In the incident on 26 January, 40 buses of DTC and five buses run under the cluster scheme were damaged.
The Times of India has quoted a source as saying that most of these buses were hired by the Delhi Police for their use but they also used these buses as barricades. The result of this is that the buses have suffered heavy losses and they need to be repaired.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot, who is also the chairman of the DTC board, has issued an order saying that DTC buses can now be hired only after the permission of the Delhi government and only under special circumstances.
According to the newspaper’s news, the Delhi government has told the Delhi Police that they should find some other arrangement for themselves, seeing the damage done to the buses.
In view of the reduced capacity of buses due to strict social distancing measures to fight Covid-19, giving out vehicles on hire reduces the number of buses available for public transport, a source pointed out.
“While the DTC fleet size is 3,762, usually up to 3,400 vehicles are deployed for operations, and since January 26 was a national holiday, only 1,975 buses were outshedded as demand was expected to be low,” the source said. Out of these buses, 40 got damaged and these buses belonged to different depots such as Sarojini Nagar, Wazirpur and Ghazipur, he added. “In view of the damage of these buses, only 900 buses were deployed in the evening,” the source said.